Last week I came home, and there was a box waiting for me by my door. It was full of gorgeous white and red endives from Discover Endives. I've been a fan of endives, but if you've never heard of them or seen them in your store, here's a little description from the website:
WHAT IS ENDIVE?Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole and curly endive. It is often called the queen of vegetables and is prized the world over.
It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness — great served raw or cooked.
So Special...It's Grown TwiceEndive is one of the most difficult vegetables in the world to grow, requiring a two-step process before it is ready to be enjoyed.
The first growth takes about 150 days in the field, where the chicory plant grows from seed into a deep root. Tops of the leafy plant are then cut off, roots dug up, and placed in cold storage, where they enter a dormancy period.
As demand necessitates, roots are removed from cold storage for their second growth, which takes 20 to 28 days in dark, cool, and humid forcing rooms, similar to mushroom growing. Thus, endives are available year-round.
I've purchased endives multiple times at my grocery store and used them as vessels to hold fun ingredients such as beets, grapefruit and blue cheese. For some reason, I'm not a fan of cooked endives. So this time around with a large box of endives I made several salads, gave some to my friend Cindy, and then decided to come up with a few fun ideas to share with you.
Endive "Spring Rolls"
ripe mango, peeled & sliced into thin strips
cucumber, sliced into thin strips
carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips
1 part hoisin sauce
1 part peanut butter (I used the one with nuts)
Kikkoman Ponzu soy sauce to taste (Thank you, Foodbuzz!)
fresh cilantro, chopped
enough water to thin the sauce to the consistency you like
1. Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl.
2. Arrange the mango, cucumber and carrot strips inside the endive leaves.
3. Serve with the dipping sauce.
What can I say? I think this is a gorgeous appetizer or a snack. It's super colorful, healthy, has balanced flavors of saltiness and sweetness and is just fun to eat!
Do you like endives? How do you use them in your kitchen? Please share as I still have a few of them sitting in the refrigerator.